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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and singer Cassie reach agreement in harassment lawsuit

NEW YORK — Singer Cassie’s lawsuit alleging beating and harassment against music producer Sean “Diddy” Combs has been settled, the artists announced Friday, a day after the lawsuit was filed.

The settlement was announced in a statement sent by attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura.

The statement said they reached a “mutually satisfactory” agreement Friday evening, but no terms of the agreement were disclosed and no further statements will be released beyond those made by Ventura, Combs and Wigdor in the email distributed by the attorney.

Ventura said in a statement: “I have decided to resolve this matter amicably, on terms over which I have some control. “I want to thank my family, fans, and lawyers for their unwavering support.”

Combs said: “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family the best. Love.”

Combs’ attorney, Ben Brafman, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. He said in a statement Thursday that Combs “strongly denies” the allegations.

The lawsuit alleges that Combs introduced the singer to his “flashy, fast and drug-filled lifestyle” shortly after meeting her in 2005, when she was 19 and he was 37, and signed her to his record label.

Ventura, now 37, said Combs, now 54, began a habit of occasional harassment as soon as their relationship began in 2007.

The lawsuit alleged that Combs, who was “prone to uncontrollable anger,” subjected Ventura to “brutal” beatings in which he punched, kicked and stomped. She claims he supplied her with drugs and forced her to have sex with other men while he masturbated and filmed them.

According to the lawsuit, when Ventura was trying to end their relationship in 2018, Combs forcibly took her to his home in Los Angeles and raped her.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they were sexually abused unless they come forward publicly, as Ventura did.

Combs is among the most influential hip hop producers and executives of the last three decades. The founder of Bad Boy Records and three-time Grammy winner has worked with numerous top artists including Notorious BIG, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.

This year, she released her fifth studio album, “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” which earned two Grammy nominations this month. This was his first studio album in 17 years.

“The bad boy of entertainment takes the key to the city from the bad boy of politics!” Mayor Eric Adams said this while presenting Combs’ giant key in Times Square in September. Combs was born in New York and grew up in nearby Mount Vernon.

Ventura rose to fame with the hit single “Me & U”, produced by Ryan Leslie, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart in 2006. This was his only studio album. As an actor, he took part in many projects such as Fox’s “Empire”, “Step Up 2:The Streets” and “Spenser Confidential”.

Brafman’s statement on Thursday stated that Ventura had been persistently demanding $30 million for the past six months and had threatened to write a damaging book about his relationship with Combs. The lawyer said that the demands were rejected on the grounds that they were “clear blackmail”.

Brafman said Ventura withdrew his initial threat before filing a lawsuit “full of unfounded and outrageous lies aimed at damaging Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking a payday.”

Wigdor released a statement Thursday saying Combs offered him “eight figures to silence him and prevent the lawsuit from being filed.”

“She rejected his efforts and decided to be the voice for all women suffering in silence,” Wigdor said.

Wigdor praised his client in a statement included in his email announcing the deal Friday.

“I am proud of Ms. Ventura for having the strength to make her case public. “He should be appreciated for doing this,” he said.

Associated Press Writer Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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